There is “no more a single hideout of the terrorist” on the Pakistani soil under the military’s major offensive operation targeting terrorist and armed groups, Pakistani army spokesperson said on Thursday.
Lt Gen. Asim Bajwa, spokesman for the Pakistan army, told in an interview to Chinese news agency Xinhua that “we have now cleared all areas in North Waziristan and Khyber tribal region. The security forces have killed nearly 3500 militants and 992 hideouts were destroyed.”
While the Pakistan army lost a total of 546 security personnel, while 2285 have been injured during the operation, said the general.
The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and several other groups had been using North Waziristan as their major base for organizing attacks across the country and also on the Afghan side of the border.
“I can confirm that there is presently no physical hideout of the terrorists on the Pakistani soil,” said Bajwa, who serves as the director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations, adding that areas in North Waziristan including the mountainous “Shawal Valley” near the Afghan border and Tirah Valley in Khyber agency have been cleared.
The military here launched a major offensive codenamed “Zarb-e-Azab” against the Pakistani Taliban and other armed groups in North Waziristan tribal region, the former stronghold of the militants, in June 2014 after peace talks with the Taliban failed.
“The security forces are now engaged in the intelligence based operations (IBO) and combing operations in urban areas to break the network of the terrorists, their sympathizers, facilitators and financiers,” the general said.
Giving details, he said that around 22,000 IBOs have been conducted so far by the intelligence agencies along with civilian law enforcement agencies including the police. He also said that hundreds of suspects have also been arrested during these targeted operations.
To a question about the trial of the terrorists in special military courts, he said a total of 166 cases have been finalized by the courts, 107 out of the totality are given death sentences and 12 convicts have been executed after the completion of all legal process.
The special military courts were established after the Taliban attacked an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014 and killed 140 students and teachers in the notorious terrorist attack.